Watchdog's praise for 'outstanding' Wigan care service

The staff at the reablement team celebrate
The staff at the reablement team celebrate

A service which helps Wiganers get back on their feet and regain independence following illness or injury has been heaped with praise by health watchdogs.

Wigan Reablement Service, run by the council, has received an “outstanding” rating following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

The group, which was providing services for 114 people at the time of the visit, provides support for people who have either just left hospital or experienced “significant changes” in their ability to cope at home.

Support is provided for up to six weeks during which time the healthcare staff assist people to regain lost skills, learn new ones and generally promote and improve their independence, allowing them to remain within their own homes.

Of the five categories assessed, which are titled “safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led”, Wigan Reablement Service was rated outstanding in four. CQC inspectors said: “People spoke highly of the care and support they received from staff who were described as being ‘’brilliant”, “exceedingly helpful” and went “above and beyond expectations”.

“Without exception, each person we spoke with said they felt safe, well supported and would recommend the service to others.”

The inspectors mentioned ways in which staff had gone above and beyond the call of duty to help combat loneliness and ensure their patients felt included in society.

Councillor Keith Cunliffe, cabinet member for adult social care and health, said: “Enabling independence and ensuring an improved quality of life, thereby reducing demand on social care, is a key element of The Deal.

“I am proud that we are among the few reablement services in the country to be rated as outstanding by CQC. It is a fitting reward for a team of staff whose commitment, dedication, and belief that they can make a difference to the lives of our residents, shines through day in, day out. They truly are a credit to the council.”

As well as singling out various acts of kindness by staff, the CQC inspectors credited the registered manager for providing a supportive environment for employees.

One example mentioned was of an employee who had discovered that her patient was in a band in the 1960s. However, they said that they felt no one was interested anymore. The report adds: “The officer researched the person, found references to them and people enquiring about their wellbeing on music forums, which he then returned and shared with the person.

“They also investigated local music groups the person could attend and referred them to a community link worker, to arrange for them to do some talks about their life, so they could tell their stories”.

Officers noted that the service had a very low turnover of staff, indicating that current employees were happy within their roles.